Published on: Monday, September 20, 2021 News Alert

Takoma Park Police Department presents the “Etch & Catch” Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Program



In an effort to deter would-be thieves and to track stolen catalytic converters, the Takoma Park Police Department has teamed up with RS Automotive on Carroll Avenue and Lowe’s.

People who want their catalytic converters etched and painted can visit RS Automotive, 7224 Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, Maryland, to have their license plate number etched onto their catalytic converter, free of charge.  An appointment is needed after the launch date– 301-270-4418.

Our goal is to deter potential thieves looking to steal catalytic converters. If your catalytic converter is stolen and recovered, law enforcement will be able to trace the converter based on the markings.

When you call to make an appointment, make sure to mention the “Etch and Catch” program. Also, note that the business has the right to refuse service.

We would like to thank RS Automotive for partnering with us on this crime prevention tool.  Without their help, this program would not be possible. As a community, we need to work together to prevent crime, and this shop has gone above and beyond in its efforts.  We hope that other automotive businesses in the vicinity of Takoma Park join us.  We would also like to thank Lowe’s for donating the tools to assist us in this program.

The top vehicle in Takoma Park targeted for its catalytic converter thefts has been the Toyota Prius.

Many people have asked what they can do to help protect their vehicles. Here are some tips to help prevent catalytic converter theft:

Make an appointment to have your license plate number etched on your catalytic converter at RS Automotive as part of the “Etch and Catch” program.

  • Park in a secured garage when possible or in a well-lit area with surveillance cameras and/or where the vehicle will be seen by a passerby.
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting to illuminate driveways used for parking.
  • Consider adding security cameras to oversee driveway and on-street parking areas.
  • Research catalytic converter anti-theft devices and weigh the pros and cons of having one installed.

We are asking for our community’s help to prevent catalytic converter theft and to assist with apprehending suspects. If you hear strange noises during the night, such as power tools or sawing, if you see a vehicle stopped in the middle of the road alongside a parked vehicle, if you see or hear ANYTHING out of the ordinary, please call (301) 270-1100.

For more information about catalytic converters, please visit:


Catherine Plevy
Public Information Officer
Takoma Park Police Department

Phone: 301-891-7142
Cell: 240-338-2901